In the West, an important weather pattern change is resulting in heavy precipitation along the Pacific Coast as far south as northwestern California. Snow is falling as far east as the northern Rockies, while windy weather is developing across the Rockies and Intermountain West. Elsewhere, chilly conditions linger in California, where a freeze warning is in effect again this morning in the San Joaquin Valley.

On the Plains, a surge of bitterly cold air is entering northern Montana, where this morning’s lows fell below -20°F. However, unlike the earlier cold wave, light snow has provided winter wheat with some insulation. In contrast, mild, dry weather is returning to the southern Plains. On January 15, nearly three-quarters (74%) of the rangeland and pastures in Texas were rated in very poor to poor condition, along with 46% of the wheat.

In the Corn Belt, cool, mostly dry weather prevails between cold fronts. Snow showers are confined to the lower Great Lakes region. This morning’s temperatures fell below 0°F as far south as Iowa.

In the South, a few showers linger along the southern Atlantic Coast, but unfavorably dry conditions persist across Florida’s peninsula. Dry, cooler weather prevails across the majority of the region.

Outlook: Multiple surges of Pacific moisture will continue to spread inland across the Northwest. During the next 5 days, precipitation totals could reach 5 to 15 inches in the Pacific Northwest and 3 to 6 inches in the northern Rockies. Late in the week, some rain and snow will develop across the eastern one-third of the U.S., with 1- to 2- inch precipitation totals possible in some areas. Meanwhile, a blast of bitterly cold air will overspread the northern Plains today before reaching the Midwest on Thursday and the Northeast on Friday. On Thursday morning, readings near -30°F will occur across parts of the northern Plains and far upper Midwest. During the weekend, however, temperatures will quickly rebound to near- or above-normal levels nearly nationwide. The NWS 6- to 10- day outlook for January 23-27 calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures across the northern High Plains and the Northwest. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across most of the northern half of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from the Gulf Coast region into the lower Southeast, and from the Southwest to the central and southern Plains.